Legacy of Letters

Legacy of Letters was conceived in 1996 by Garrett Boge as an opportunity for calligraphers, lettercutters, typographers and anyone else passionate about letterforms to study the history of the Roman alphabet in its place of origin. The tour was inspired by the famous student tours of Rome and Florence led every other Spring by Prof. Michael Twyman and his colleagues in the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. Boge and I led tours of Rome from 1997 to 1999 and of Florence and Tuscany in 2000. In 2010 I revived Legacy of Letters with the help of Alta Price. The tour currently focuses on cities in the Veneto and Emilia-Romagna regions, but in the future it will expand to include other locations in Italy.

GoFundMe—Legacy of Letters 2023Letterpress Extravaganza

Go Fund Me—Legacy of Letters Letterpress Extravaganza
Chiara Bergese
In early April tried to set up the GoFundMe account to raise funds to enable both Shaqa Bovand and Chiara Bergese  a student in the Communication Design department at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, to join Legacy of Letters 2023. The vetting process at GoFundMe was so slow and repetitive that I decided to crowdfund both women via email and my website. The effort quickly raised enough money ($3500) for one woman and …
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Laura Thoms on Legacy of Letters 2022

Laura Thoms setting type during the Legacy of Letters 2022 letterpress workshop. Photograph by Paul Shaw.
Laura Thoms (Legacy of Letters 2019 and 2022*)
June 14, 2022:
Thank you for your hard work in putting such a fantastic trip together.
July 25, 2022
Thank you so much for coordinating such a beautiful adventure.

Legacy of Letters 2023 will take place from June 29 to July 12, 2023. It will include stops in Milano, Torino, Alpignano, Casteggio, Parma, Modena, Venice, and Cornuda. We will visit …
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Maureen Hoffmann Exhibition—Italian Stone: Artist’s Muse

Maureen Hoffmann (Legacy of Letters 2012) has an exhibition hosted by the Burien Arts Association at the Highline Heritage Museum in Burien, Washington (near Seattle) from May 4 to June 30, 2023. She says this of the exhibition: “Merging my multiple loves for expression, I have pulled from my 15 years of travel and 60,000 photos in Italy, and combined them with graphic overlays for one-of-a-kind monoprints. Milan, Florence, Venice… Monuments and cobblestones… Manuscripts and textiles… These are a few …
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Meet the first Legacy of Letters 2023 Crowdfunded Scholarship Winner

Shaqa Bovand
Arabic typeface by Shaqa Bovand.
Shaqa Bovand from Iran, a student in the MA Typeface Design program at the University of Reading, is our fifth scholarship participant. She was supported by donations (ranging in size from $25 to $500) from 31 individuals and two couples via an informal crowdfunding campaign. Both Shaqa and I wish to publicly thank those donors (in alphabetical order) for their financial assistance*:
Henri-Paul Bronsard
Paul Carlos
Graham Clifford
Moira Collins
Ben and Ellen Erdreich
Behdad Esfahbod
Glenn Fleishman
Linda Florio
Davide Fornari
David …
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Crowdfunding Chiara Bergese for Legacy of Letters 2023—Update June 1, 2023

This will be the last Legacy of Letters tour and workshop for the foreseeable future! I would like to fill the last available place on the tour with an unfunded applicant for the Legacy of Letters 2023 scholarships. There were 18 applicants for the four sponsored scholarships, a dozen of whom had excellent portfolios. Among them was Chiara Bergese, a student in the Communication Design department at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. She missed the cut-off in the cumulative …
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Erica Carras on Legacy of Letters

Erica Carras (Legacy of Letters 2022):
If you are a fan of spending time in libraries, looking at old books and typography, you are in for a treat! We went to some stunning collections with unique curated selections. It was spectacular! Even if you don’t enjoy typography, you can easily be amused. Also, it’s Italy. You get to enjoy great food and wine!”
Erica Carras setting type during the Legacy of Letters 2019 letterpress workshop. Photograph by Paul Shaw.

Legacy of …
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Archivio Nebiolo—A short conversation with Alessandro Colizzi

Cover of Ditta Nebiolo & Comp. catalogue (1895). Image courtesy of Taschen.
Paul: Why is Fonderia Nebiolo important? Can you summarize the company’s origins and place in the Italian graphic design/printing world?
Alessandro: The Nebiolo company of Torino was Italy’s great type foundry on both a national and international level for most of the twentieth century—until its closure in 1978. The company was originally established as a type foundry by Giovanni Nebiolo in 1878. The business grew steadily in the following decades …
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Claire Lukacs on Legacy of Letters

Claire Lukacs (Legacy of Letters 2019 and Legacy of Letters 2022):
The two times that I have attended Legacy of Letters have literally been a visual feast. If you have any interest in the history of type, you won’t be disappointed. And the workshop part is so enjoyable with Peter and Sayre and the crew from Tipoteca. Not to mention, Italy and the food…
Claire Lukacs tying up type during the Legacy of Letters 2019 letterpress workshop. Photograph by Paul Shaw.

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Crowdfunding plea for adding two participants to Legacy of Letters 2023

This will be the last Legacy of Letters tour and workshop for the foreseeable future! I would like to fill the last two available places on the tour with unfunded applicants for the Legacy of Letters 2023 scholarships. There were 18 applicants for the four sponsored scholarships, a dozen of whom had excellent portfolios. Among them were two women, Shaqa Bovand from Iran and Chiara Bergese from Italy, who missed the cut-off in the cumulative judges’ voting but received …
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James Stroud and Janine Wong on Legacy of Letters

James Stroud and Janine Wong (Legacy of Letters 2019 and Legacy of Letters 2022):
We have participated in Legacy of Letters tours in 2019 and 2022 and found both experiences to be a most enjoyable mix of typographic history, artist book projects, and incredible food and wine excursions. Paul Shaw and Patricia Childers put together an extraordinary, finely-tuned program, and gathered together a compelling mix of participants from far and wide. We look forward to joining Legacy of Letters again in …
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Emmy Yamaguchi on Legacy of Letters

Emmy Yamaguchi (Legacy of Letters 2019):
I look back on Legacy of Letters as a super fun, inspiring, (and delicious!) study abroad trip. I was able to experiment with letterpress in a legendary museum and have the opportunity to visit special libraries, archives, etc. with an amazing group of creatives. To this day, I often refer back to photos I took on that Italy trip for my graphic design work. I can’t recommend it enough!
Emmy Yamaguchi (at right) enjoying lunch …
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Andrea Marks on Legacy of Letters

Andrea Marks (Legacy of Letters 2015)
I was part of the Tipoteca workshop in 2015 and it remains a true highlight for me on many levels. I met many exceptionally creative people, the trip was extremely well organized, and the food and accommodations were perfect. Our four-day letterpress printing workshop in Cornuda was the pinnacle of the trip—inspiring, engaging and a lot of fun. No one knows the legacy of letters in Italy like Paul! I highly recommend this trip.
Andrea …
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Henri-Paul Bronsard on Legacy of Letters

Henri-Paul Bronsard (Legacy of Letters 2022):
To those of you interested in having a great group experience with people from different fields of knowledge, I highly encourage you to take part in the next Legacy of Letters in Italy. You will have an opportunity to visit and work in the fantastic Tipoteca museum for typography and printing. I was initially skeptical, but being part of Legacy of Letters 2022 was one of the best decisions of my life. Setting type and …
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Legacy of Letters 2023—Editore Tallone

Enrico Tallone in the printshop at Editore Tallone. Photograph by Paul Shaw (2022).
One of the many highlights of Legacy of Letters 2023 will be a full day at Editore Tallone, located in the tiny town of Alpignano, a short drive to the west of Torino. The Tallone family has been Italian letterpress royalty for nearly ninety years. I recently conducted an email interview with Elisa Tallone and her father Enrico Tallone, members of the third and second generations of …
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Jason Stadnik and Shaina Pruden on Legacy of Letters

Jason Stadnik and Shaina Pruden (Legacy of Letters 2019)
That’s amore! Shaina and I absolutely loved our Legacy of Letters Italian adventure to the Tipoteca in Cornuda. I’m a type-geek at heart—so this trip was a no-brainer for me. But Shaina, a veterinarian, was a bit nervous to go at first. Her nerves were quickly put at ease when we arrived in Italy, toured the museums and participated in the letterpress workshop at the Tipoteca. Shaina killed it with …
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Meet the Legacy of Letters 2023 Scholarship Winners

The winners of the Legacy of Letters 2023 scholarships have been chosen. There were eighteen applicants for the three awards. It was a geographically diverse group with eleven different countries being represented. Furthermore, half of the applicants were female. The judging—by myself, Peter Kruty and Sayre Gaydos of Peter Kruty Editions (the printers for the Legacy of Letters 2023 letterpress workshop at the Tipoteca), and four of the sponsors for the awards—was blind, with each applicant’s portfolio stripped of …
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